Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Regarding confluences

The word confluence, from the Latin words for "flow together," is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as "the flowing together of two or more streams." (It's a big dictionary. I won it a couple of years ago in a spelling bee, and feel obligated to use it sometimes.)
Here's a pic I took of DH in 2007 in Wyalusing State Park, overlooking the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers. It kind of looks like I Photoshopped him in, which I wish I had so I could take him out for illustrative purposes, but alas. As you can see, there is a wetland there, a common occurance at confluences. It is a grand vista. You can also see the new Wal-Mart from the campground, lit up like the sun all freaking night, which is especially sad since it mars the stargazing (pun!); seriously, though, there is an observatory there, and an active astronomy club . (But that is a different topic entirely.) Instead, I wanted to point out some history of the confluence of the Milwaukee River and Lincoln Creek, in what is at this point in time Lincoln Park. There used to be an S-curve in the River and a similar marshy situation, though on a smaller scale. Back in the 1930's, the CCC undertook the project of straightening the river's curvacious natural path, scooping and shaping the marsh into islands. I tried to get a good shot to illustrate the way the soil has been scooped out. This is the southwest part of the area, looking northwest, near Green Bay Road in Lincoln Park.
The map at right, from
MIT libraries, shows Milwaukee in 1906. The circled area indicates what is now Lincoln Park. You can see the lack of development in that area; the map indicates it is marshy.

To reiterate what I said at the public hearing on the 24th of March, if a person wants to go live on a natural river, untouched by human hands, one could do so- perhaps in a remote part of Alaska or Canada, in a tent. One could peacefully fish there, view otters, and eat berries, unfettered by technology or society. I will not try to talk you out of doing so.


MJB said...

How wonderful that you just wrote about confluence on this blog (which is lovely, by the way). I just used that word in a comment at COMICS I DON'T UNDERSTAND, and Bill Bickel barred it from publication. It was under the "Off the OFF THE MARK" subject:

What a delightful confluence! OFF THE MARK replicates CATHY on December 1st, COMICS I DON’T UNDERSTAND posts that cartoon as an “L.O.L.” on March 23rd, and then (on April 2nd), )a rep. from OFF THE MARK’s syndicate demands that COMICS I DON’T UNDERSTAND stop posting OFF THE MARKs!

Thanks for this lovely blog.

Matthew Bond

The River Otter said...

Thanks for the compliment, Matthew. That made my day!
I love CIDU, too. I was happy to see that Mark Parisi rescinded his rep's moratorium. The internet has really changed people's views on "fair use," I think.
CIDU Bill barred your comment? Wierd.
(Also, have you seen "Garfield minus Garfield?" I think it's hilarious.)